Saturday, May 24, 2008

That Only Took Nine Months **UPDATE**

On Saturday, after three runners-up finishes, Chelsea fired its manager, Avram Grant. The Israeli replaced Jose Mourinho in mid-season and "led" the Blues to second place finishes in the Carling Cup, Champions League and Premier League. The latter two were won by Manchester United.

It was widely believed unless Grant was able to bring home Big Ears with a Champions League victory he would be fired. Even then, it was not clear he would remain.
Common opinion was that Grant was not a good manager. He lacked tactical nous, was not inspirational, and by the end of the season had lost the lockerroom. And, the team actually succeeded in spite of him.

The close season will bring boundless rumors for replacements and transfer targets for Chelsea. Surprisingly, there is an old, familiar face that has already entered the rumor mill.

Update: When asked about Grant's tenure, Mourinho likened it to a "loser." Furthermore, The Guardian has revealed that after the Carling Cup loss, Abramovich bought Mourinho a £2million limited edition Ferrari.

Mourinho had this to say about Grant's reign:

Asked if Chelsea's campaign had been the good one Grant depicted it as, Mourinho said: 'That depends on your philosophy of leadership. In my philosophy it was a very bad one because in football "almost" means defeat and Chelsea almost won the Carling Cup, almost won the Champions League, and almost won the Premier League. Almost is nothing.

'After two titles per season for the last three years there were zero titles this season, which in my philosophy means a really bad season. Maybe in the philosophy of a loser this was a great season, which I respect.'
Mourinho was stunned by the gift.

Mourinho was astounded when Chelsea director Eugene Tenenbaum called in February to inform him that Abramovich had purchased a rare Ferrari for the man he had removed from Stamford Bridge five months previously.

Customised with Mourinho's 'Special One' moniker, the 612 Scaglietti was one of just 60 produced to commemorate Ferrari's 60th anniversary. While still at Chelsea, Mourinho had told Abramovich that if he could have his choice of cars, the four-seat Scaglietti would be it. The list price is around £250,000, but such is its rarity the secondary-market value is as much as eight times that amount.
It must be nice to have the money to buy a £2million gift for an ex-employee.

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